Browse Publications Technical Papers 2005-01-1678
2005-04-11

Replacing Steel with Glass-Mat Thermoplastic Composites in Automotive Spare-Wheel Well Applications 2005-01-1678

Glass-mat thermoplastic (GMT) composites have been used to replace steel in spare-wheel well (SWW) applications in Europe for more than a decade. This application has been successfully translated across multiple OEMs, tier suppliers, platform types, and geographies throughout Europe. Despite its success there, and the numerous advantages this approach offers, it is still little known and even less understood in other parts of the world.
In an attempt to help automakers and tier suppliers in the Americas and Asia/Pacific understand the benefits of converting steel to GMT in spare-wheel wells, this paper will discuss OEM performance criteria, design requirements, tooling and manufacturing of the part, as well as requirements for finished assembly into the vehicle vs. traditional steel systems.

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